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Cal State Fullerton names interim president

Dr. Willie Hagan succeeds Milton Gordon, who announced in September that he would step down.

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: January 04, 2012 03:05 PM

Cal State Fullerton’s (CSUF) vice president for administration and chief financial officer, Dr. Willie Hagan, has been named the university’s interim president. He will temporarily fill the position left vacant by departing University President Milton Gordon.

Dr. Hagan began at Cal State Fullerton as vice president of administration, and is credited with providing increasing levels of service to the campus during a period of growth, according to the university. In 2000, he was appointed interim vice president of University Advancement, a position he held for three years, during which time he was involved in the department’s reorganization. In 2005, he assumed the position of chief financial officer, overseeing the school’s financial operations.

Dr. Hagan earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Connecticut and a master of fine arts degree from UCLA. He formerly served as associate vice president for administration at the University of Connecticut, and also as a lobbyist at the state and federal level for that school and the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education.

Gordon, who served CSUF as president for 21 years, oversaw a period of development and growth at the school. During his tenure, enrollment grew by more than 40 percent, and the university added 13 academic degrees, including its doctorate in education program, the first in the Cal State System.

The search began in October for Gordon’s successor. Since that time, a committee of CSU Trustees has been identifying and evaluating candidates for the position. Gordon said he would stay on in his position until a replacement was found. Dr. Hagan will assume the interim position and its duties beginning Jan. 9. CSU Trustees are confident that a candidate will be selected for the position of university president by the end of January.

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